Kukesi take one the visitors Valletta at “Loro-Borici Stadium” in the first-leg encounter of the 1/8 qualification stage of the UEFA Champions League. The game will be played in Shkoder on Wednesday, July 11th.
Kukesi are quite a famous club in Albania which has been contending for the top places for many years already and is able to achieve successful results. Last season “Verilindoret” managed to settle on the second position in the Albanian Super League, having picked up 63 points in 36 clashes conducted. The side demonstrates excellent football in attack, having scored 61 goals already unlike its defense which leaves much to be desired with 41 goals conceded. In the recent battles hosted at the home field Kukesi collected 0:4 smashing defeat from Maribor together with two draws against Flamurtari and Luftetari Gjirokastra with the same 2:2 scoreline.
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Meanwhile, Valletta produced powerful play in latest seasons and are quite ready to appear in the Eurocups. In previous season “Lily Whites” managed to take the champion’s title of Maltese Premier League, having gained 58 points in 26 rounds conducted. The team’s offense looks more than confidently with 40 scored goals just like its defense which has conceded only 11 goals. Valletta have broken Birkirkara 2:1, deserved 1:1 draw against Floriana and upset St. Andrews 1:0 in the recent away fights.
Kukesi and Valletta have never met before. At this point it’s quite difficult to define the favourite as both sides are strong enough for their domestic championships. However, comparing the level of the Albanian and Maltese football, I would give an advantage to the upcoming hosts.
Prediction for the match: Kukesi to win.